A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

A Summer Book Bingo Wrap-Up

Are you planning to join us for the best book party of the summer? Celebrate the wrap-up of our free summer reading from 2:00 – 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 15, with our friends at The Seattle Public Library.

Grab some bingo swag, eat cake, discuss your favorite summer reads with fellow Book Bingo-lovers, swap your best and most challenging moments, and suggest categories for next summer. Plus, we’ll draw the Book Bingo winners live! (But don’t worry, you don’t have to be present to win.)

In the meantime, the SAL offices have been flooded with boards from all ages and reading sensibilities across the region. On the reverse side of your boards, you told us all about your favorite reading experiences, the hardest challenges, and, of course, your personal reading recommendations.

Here’s what we’ve learned from 2018 Book Bingo players:


You Were Challenged

“This is my fourth time playing bingo! Bingo is community building, personally challenging, mind-opening.”

“I loved reading a diversity of books in a short time: riveting fiction, history, astrophysics, climate change reporting, a history of my favorite childhood activity (razor clamming), memoirs, YA novels, graphic novels, humor. A rich and wonderful summer of reading!”

“I’ve read so much more this summer than ever before. I really enjoyed making this a priority, and working toward the goal of filling my bingo board made this easy.”

“What I loved most was the joy I found in moving so quickly from one author’s world to another’s. A myriad of stories; all were different, many the same. What a fantastic adventure!”


You Overcame Your Fear of Nonfiction

“I don’t typically read nonfiction, and I was dreading completing that square. However, I found myself fascinated, horrified, and utterly enthralled by Kate Moore’s The Radium Girls, and I finished it in two days!”

“I’ve been suffering from depression and have relied on reading fiction as a means of escape—but reading Educated by Tara Westover for my ‘memoir or biography’ square gave me some reassurance and strength to tackle my own struggles.”

“I’m learning to love nonfiction! Killers of the Flower Moon (David Grann) and The Death and Life of the Great Lakes (Dan Egan) were great surprises.”


You Made Great Reading Recommendations

The Mars Room (Rachel Kushner) is probably the best book I read, although I loved the opportunity to read and extol Homegoing in the wake of Yaa Gyasi’s speaking engagement at SPL in May. Both books are powerful representations of remarkable journeys women can take.”

“For my author or character with a disability square, I chose The Reason I Jump (Nagoki Higashida). It gave me new insights into the thoughts of a thirteen year-old boy with autism.”

“I discovered Barbara Kingsolver when looking for my SAL speaker square. I have no idea how I missed her all these years!”

“I loved reading in What the Eyes Don’t See (Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha) about the power of one person to fight and win against systemic injustice.”

“Favorite experience: reading Factfulness by Hans Rosling. This should be required reading for everybody. I can see why it is Bill Gates’s favorite book.”

“I loved so many of the books I read this summer, but Kindred by Octavia Butler was my favorite. It was so engaging, suspenseful, and thought-provoking that I finished it in a day. I can’t wait to check out the rest of her work!”

The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith was the funniest book I read all summer and probably the best experience!”

“After a long-time search for a previously banned book for another challenge, a friend suggested a book which happened to be Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal winner, The Giver. Her story packs a wallop and demonstrates intelligence, integrity, courage, and wisdom.”

“My favorite reading experience was My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman. The stories woven into the reality of living with fear, loss, regret, disappointment, and eventually, forgiveness and acceptance, provide a beautiful backdrop for grief and progression into a ‘new normal.’ May we all find our superhero powers and conquer our own dragons.”

“I cried tears of appreciation while reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio on a flight to Sacramento.”

An American Marriage, in particular, had a profound effect on me. I can’t wait to see Tayari Jones at SAL!”


You Made New Connections

“My favorite reading experience with bingo was the camaraderie with my neighbor and friend who also participated. We shared ideas, serendipitously read at the same pace, and learned we have read many of the same books.”

“My thirteen-year-old granddaughter gave me a copy of the graphic novel My Hero Academia, nagged me about finishing it, and explained how to read it—back to front. Not my favorite book, but my favorite reading experience.”

“I especially enjoyed talking to booksellers and friends about suggestions of books.”

“I loved talking to Shannon Wallace, librarian at the Queen Anne Public Library, about playing book bingo this year along with my students!”

“My sister encouraged me to try the Your Next Five Books recommendation service from SPL. I got great suggestions!”

“Favorite reading experience: watching my library colleagues fill in their bingo cards tacked to their cubicle walls. We had many conversations about the reading in our spare time.”


Posted in Summer Book Bingo